Ancarrow’s Landing has quite an interesting history that covers slavery, ecological issues and more modern recreational uses.
During the 1800s, Ancarrow’s Landing was the location of the Manchester Slave Docks. Enslaved people were unloaded here and then transported on land to various locations. Because of that, this piece of land is actually the start of the Richmond Slave Trail. There are informational signs detailing the horrible conditions the people that arrived here endured.
More recently, the area’s ecological health has become quite significant. The spot is named after Newton Hopper Ancarrow. Ancarrow was a scientist, photographer and a boat maker. He opened a public dock in this location in 1965 and quickly realized the poor state of the river. He began to campaign on behalf of the river to anyone that would listen (and to some who wouldn’t). In time, his conservation efforts paid off. The boat launch Ancarrow opened is still in use today and the water quality has significantly improved.
Now, the area is popular for fishing and there is a 2.5 multiuse trail owned by the James River Park System. The trail is *lovingly* referred to as the “poop loop” because it skirts around the wastewater treatment plant. Occasionally, I got a certain unpleasant whiff, but it was not overpowering. However, I would probably avoid this spot on a really hot afternoon.